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WHTC Technology Plan

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This is the developing systems plan for WHTC. This is a workboard so there may be duplicate information presented.

World Help Training Center Overview[edit]

The World Help Training Center (WHTC) (homepage) is a convertible community in central Georgia.

The World Help Training Center is an ecologically centered convertible community near Macon, GA. It is sited on 30 acres and the community is currently working on residential housing and agricultural planning in advance of the 2009 spring planting season.

World Help Training Center is a living training center and Micro-Community ("The MiCom") created to serve the training needs of individuals preparing for sustainability based development projects around the world. The Center will focus on providing training in how to develop affordable alternatives of sustainable, ecologically friendly and economically attainable communities. Within the Center, our specific focus will be on construction, agriculture and light husbandry, alternative energy, clean water, transportation and micro-commerce. The MiCom is designed to be a micro-community developed on the model of an intentional "convertible community."

The MiCom will be comprised initially of the members of the Center's development team and their families but in general it will be made up of individuals who: a) are concerned for the practical dimensions of sustainability, b) share a common intention of spiritual, physical and emotional growth and well being, c) are concerned and committed to focusing on the physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions of sustainability, and d) are committed to the development of internal commerce that will fund sustainability. We anticipate that initially all MiCom members will work for the Center, but initially many may work off-site or have their own micro-enterprises that can be managed on-site. In addition we anticipate that initially there may be Center employees that do not live within the MiCom, but the eventual goal will be that all Center employees live within the MiCom.

We strongly hold that the Center and MiCom will be a living laboratory that never fully completes or realizes our ideals because they will be continually evolving. New ideas and technology will challenge us to continuously implement new and challenging techniques and training programs within the Center and the MiCom. Because we hold this true, we believe the Center and MiCom will be a place for continued learning, research and the resulting growth.

The ultimate goal of this project is to educate and facilitate environmental, community and spiritual renewal.


DEVELOPMENT PLAN(work in progress)

Phase I: Land Acquisition It will be necessary to lock in the appropriate contracts for land as well as financing since to date a cash purchase is not a feasable option due to current funding levels. This phase will be successful if the contract is negotiaged so that 30 acres of land are secured and financed for 30 years with no prepayment penalty.

Phase II: Basic Use Facilities It will be necessary to have basic facilities for onsite use. These will include a bunk/sleeping facility, a bath house and a cooking area. These can be accomplished in the following ways:

   * Bath house - A basic bath house can be constructed using the hexayurt design and should include at a minimum toilet, shower, gray water system and the ability to store water for showering/washing. This phase will be successfully completed if the above are completed and in working order.
         ** Several options are available for toilet design. A composting toilet design would be in keeping with the project objectives. Several methods seem practicle for composting toilets. The design where sealable containers are used adn then stored to compost for 12-24 months seems the most feasable.
         ** The two most immediately feasable means for offering shower use is 1) simple solar showers (black bag type) and exterior hooks for hanging during heating and interior hooks for hanging during use, and 2) tankless water heater.
               *** Solar showers - this solution would be to purchase or construct black bag showers. A 5gallon solar shower can be purchased for approximately $10 each and can accommodate 3 brief showers. With 4-6 on hand and 2 15-gallon water storage containers to refill the bags (approximately 20-30 gallons/day for 12 people), this level would accomodate daily showers. Bags can be hung on hooks or shelvign on the sun-facing side of the bathhouse (externally) and then carried in and hung in the shower stall by user. Cons: this source cannot provide hot water on demand, nor does it provide temperature control for the water. Also, because it relies on sun, unless it is placed in an insulated container after being heated, it will not remain hot after sundown. Pros: this source provides an ultra-cheap, easily portable means of taking hot/warm showers. Requires minimal space and it is completely run from solar (100% renewable energy source)
               *** Tankless water heater - this solution requires the use of natural gas and battery power to provide instant hot water. Their are a growing number of tankless hotwater heaters that provide instant hot water using gas powered heat and batter powered ignition. For approximately $120-200 plus the cost of a 10 or 20 pound propane tank and propane gas and 4 D batteries (both ongoing expenses) this technology can provide an unlimited amount of hot water (limited by availability of water and propane). Pros: this provides instant hot water regardless of the radiant heating provided by the sun and this can provide hot water 24 hours a day and has the ability to control the water temperature. Cons:This source requires an ongoing supply of propane and the use of batteries to power its operation. Batteries can be rechargeable, but a source must be obtained to supply propane. Without gas, this device will not work. This device has the ongoing costs associated with refilling the gas tanks.
         ** Drain water must be accommodated for in our graywater plan. Shower drains (and sinks if installed) should have adequate plumbing so that they will drain into the greywater system. There are several immediately feasible options for how to use the graywater. The most feasible (and least complicated) seems to be to divert the appropriate plumbing towards planted areas as the main watering source. Care should be take to ensure that no hazardous chemicals are used for bathing.
   * Sleeping/Bunk House - For sleeping facilities, the quickest solution is to insulate the 12'24' utility building. It could accommodate approximately 12 bunk beds (6 units/2 high). Wall and ceiling insulation, in addition to increasing the insulation around the door and window openings would provide four-season sleeping accommodations.
   * Kitchen - A kitchen facility is also important and could be constructed with simple clearing of trees in the designated location. Adequate clearing should be done to ensure a safe perimeter. Both wood and gas cooking options seem most feasible in this phase. A three sided outdoor kitchen could provide sheltered cooking and utensil storage during all four seasons. A simple brick platform with a pole barn type structure surround would allow for traditional building material or straw bale design. Refinishing the donated wood burning stove would provide cooking facilities for large group cooking. Also the five burner barbeque grill which is fueled by natural gas/propane could be used for quick start cooking and large group meals.

Phase III: Land Design In this phase the design work should begin for the site layout and architectural drawings and models completed. This might require additional surveying work during this phase of the development. This phase would be successful if there are completed site drawings and a 3D model of the completed site.

Phase IV: Housing Structures In this phase the design and build of housing shelters will be carried out. The objective is to design a hexayurt structure that can be rapidly deployed in 2-4 hours into a complete housing structure. Testing will be done with both insulation and heat transfer barrier materials as well as assembly methods. This phase would be successful if a complete ultra-cheap semi-permanent hexayurt cabin structure is designed that provides quick connection to utilities (water and power) and is rapidly deployable by unskilled users.

Phase V: Utility Design and Implementation In this phase the utility systems are finalized and construction is completed of these systems. This will include the water system to include: access to pure water and the ability to store it and pump it through the development, installation of a safety water filtration systems to ensure clean safe drinking water, installation of plumbing lines throughout the site, installation of waste water systems throughout the site. This phase will also include the finalized design for the community power system and any supplemental cabin power system kits.

Phase VI: Agriculture/Greenhouse Design and Build In this phase, following the access to water, the design and build of gardening/growing spaces will be conducted. This will include the build of an adequately sized greenhouse and the appropriate land clearing to accommodate the planting landlots. This phase will also look at the intensive growing methods and Emergency Sustainable Agriculture plans for the region and the subsequent seed collection and storage. During this phase, it will also be important to build adequate composting facilities to facilitate the compost/growing needs of the development.

Phase VII: Workshop/Classroom Training Facilities In this phase the design and build of adequate workshop/classroom facilities will be completed. Buildings will be erected to accommodate ongoing training activities and gatherings on-site. It would seem beneficial for the facilities to be able to double as bunkhouse/sleeping quarters.

Convertible Community[edit]

The coined phrase "convertible community" came about during the development of the MiCom at World Help Training Center. The concept of convertible is about efficient design of land space to allow the greatest use of space and the most flexibility. In designing the land space that would house the World Help Training Center, the MiCom at WHTC and the Spiritual Wellness Center, it was important to provided the following functionality:

  • Space that maintains a rustic, rural setting similar to an agricultural village or rural farm - The land space is approximately 30 acres of rural agricultural land that has for decades been a reseeding pine tree forest. The land use is intended to be a residential community that supports an agricultural development of sustainability. The agriculture will include field crops, vegetables, fruit and nut orchards among other things. Maintaining the natural aesthetics of the land is desired.
  • Accommodate a year-round residential population - The community will be designed to accommodate the full-time farm workers, training center and Spiritual Wellness Center employees. Housing accommodations should be sustainable but sufficient to accommodate the variety of seasons. Every effort will be made to use renewable sustainable materials and practices. Residences will be designed so that modular expansion is a possibility should the need for expansion arise.
  • Accommodate seasonal increases in residential population - Design considerations will be included into the landscape plan to allow for the rapid increase in residents. There will be a combination of permanent structures that can double as artist workshops, training classrooms and living accommodations. In addition, the park pads used for picnic or outdoor teaching/classes will be designed to also act as hexayurt platforms that could accommodate hexayurts, standard or military style tents or other relief style structures. These hexayurt platforms will remain stationary year-round. The hexayurt platforms will offer greater convertibility because the platforms will allow plumbing and electrical to be installed into semi-permanent structures(like a hexayurt) with the greatest ease.
  • Accommodate crisis management populations as the regional demands present - If additional accommodations are necessary beyond what the seasonal facilities allow, the landscape plan will have designated camping sites that will be located within the park design. This will allow open spaces to serve as a temporary/crisis shelter facility. On-site storage will maintain crisis level accommodations to include portable, semi-permanent dwelling structures like folding hexayurts which can be rapidly deployed in under an hours time.
  • Accommodate social and training gatherings in the same space - The variety of spaces designed into the landscape plan include hexayurt platforms that also can double as event staging for a variety of training or social events. With added temporary structures installed, the platforms can double as outdoor gazebo or open air amphitheater.
  • Manage land to maintain the sustainability of the maximum capacity of community residents - The gardening plan will take into accommodations the year-round population and the potential crisis or seasonal populations. The garden designs will be to maximize crop yield and minimize required spacing. Gardening designs will be conveniently located in proximity to the residential districts and also offer a larger garden space for additional crops. Gardening space will be designed in for seasonal gardens and designate should the need for addition garden plots should the crisis residential populations increase. Until a specific need, those spaces will grow nutrient rick cover crops to reduce the necessary work other than simple tilling if the need to plant for production arises.
  • Convertible plumbing systems - Feasibility of a water tower installation will be done and plumbing lines from the water tower or well will be run through the designed residential lots. Plumbing will be designed in such a way so that plumbing access can be hooked to the semi-permanent dwelling platforms or lots with nominal tools and rapidly. This will allow for running water to each living site and surrounding garden spaces. Also the plumbing will run a gray water collection system to reduce the septic needs. As standard practice composting toilets will be used to reduce the septic system demands. Systems will be installed near all roof structured buildings to harvest rainwater for facility use.
  • Convertible workshops - permanent structures will be erected near the park area that can be used for artist workshops and training classrooms but that can also be used as residential dwellings and water and power can be integrated rapidly.
  • The agricultural fields will be designed efficiently t allow the maximum production. Design will also be such that the addition of basic husbandry could be implemented rapidly.


Land Design[edit]

Convertible Lots[edit]

Convertible lots are designed to meet several levels of personal need ranging from low usage to high usage. The rural lots are 1/10 acre or more (in increments of 1/10th acre). All lots will have access to well water and common use facilities which include bathroom/shower facilities, cooking facilities and laundry facilities.

Lots are designed to allow individuals to engage in rural camping easily. Moderate usage applications will allow lot-holders to purchase, lease or build semi-permanent structure(s) which can be used to retreat in or for longer periods of use as crisis housing. The lots are designed to be able to quickly connect with the water system and allow a 2-8 hour deployment time in the event of emergency. Lot-holders can opt to purchase a complete housing kit that would include a dwelling structure (insulated or not), power and sewer systems, emergency agriculture systems and storage of such systems.

A high use application for the land lot-holders is full time residency as an on-site farmer. The lot is designed to provide space to maintain self-sufficiency levels of agriculture and small husbandry to sustain a small family.

Water[edit]

This section will outline the phased planning for ensuring adequate clean water at the WHTC.

  • point 1
    • sub point 1

Water heating - It seems that the tankless water technology has become an affordable, portable option for water heating. The Eccotemp L5 tankless water heater offers a propane/battery powered ondemand water heater. One 20 pound tank can provide approximately 18 hours of hot water. This technology can be used to set up a bath house, but it is affordable enough so that it could be a packaged part of each homestead kit. The concern is propane delivery. There must be adequate reserves or access to this source of fuel.

Other links: here and here (see "open source on-demand water heating). Hope this helps. LucasG 11:54, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Shelter[edit]

Power[edit]

Home Brew Generator

Lawn mower generator

Lawn mower generator

Agriculture[edit]

There are several agriculture issues that must be considered. The first is providing a means for producing adequate food for on-site residents. Normal permaculture solutions provide adequate resources. Methods that are being considered fall under the following categories:

  • urban gardening
  • square foot gardening
  • sub-acreage farming/gardening
  • organic gardening

Another concern being considered is being able to take crisis or transitioning populations and move them to food sustainably rapids. This discussion is being documented under the working title of Emergency Sustainable Agriculture Planning or ESA Planning.

Husbandry[edit]

Cooking[edit]

Heating and Cooling[edit]

Lighting[edit]

Sanitation[edit]

Communications[edit]

Security[edit]

Social Philosophy[edit]

Commerce[edit]

WHTC Summary - Revised 2/10/2009[edit]

World Help Training Center Overview The Central Georgia Convertible Community Project (referred to in this document as the World Help Training Center (WHTC)) is being designed as a physical prototype of the convertible community concept in central Georgia. (For a more detailed explanation of Convertible Community see Appendix A.) The World Help Training Center will be an ecologically centered convertible community near Macon, GA. It will be situated on 30 acres and the community is currently working on finalizing the development plan and budget. World Help Training Center is designed to be a living training center and is being created to serve the training needs of individuals preparing for sustainability based development projects around the world. The Center will focus on providing training on how to develop affordable alternatives for spiritually based, sustainable, ecologically friendly and economically vibrant communities. The Micro-Community ("The MiCom") is being developed to serve the residential needs of participants that will live onsite full-time or part-time. Within the Center, our specific focus will be on spiritual wellbeing, construction, agriculture and light husbandry, alternative energy, clean water, transportation and commerce. The MiCom is designed to be a micro-community developed on the model of an intentional "convertible community." The MiCom will be comprised initially of the members of the Center's development team and their families but in general it will be made up of individuals who: a) are concerned for the practical dimensions of sustainability, b) share a common intention of spiritual, physical and emotional growth and well being, c) are concerned and committed to focusing on the physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions of sustainability, and d) are committed to the development of internal commerce that will fund sustainability. We anticipate that initially all MiCom members will work for the Center, but initially many may work off-site or have their own business enterprises that can be managed on-site. In addition we anticipate that initially there may be Center employees that do not live within the MiCom, but the eventual goal will be that all Center employees live within the MiCom. We strongly hold that the Center and MiCom will be a living laboratory that never fully completes or realizes our ideals because they will be continually evolving. New ideas and technology will challenge us to continuously implement new and challenging techniques and training programs within the Center and the MiCom. Because we hold this true, we believe the Center and MiCom will be a place for continued learning, research and the resulting growth. The ultimate goal of this project is to educate and facilitate spiritual, environmental, community and economic renewal and growth.

DEVELOPMENT PLAN The following system categories, the corresponding major systems and development areas make up the comprehensive development plan for this project. Many of the development areas will be implemented simultaneously. The three system categories and their sub systems are as follows: • Physical Site Development o Infrastructure  Land Acquisition - It will be necessary negotiate appropriate contracts for land as well as financing (or adequate funds to complete the purchase). This phase will be successful if the contract is negotiated so that 30 acres of land are secured and financed for 30 years with no prepayment penalty or if funding is secured to complete the purchase.  Site Design and Land Clearing - In this phase the design work should begin for the site layout and architectural drawings and models completed. This may require additional surveying work during this phase of the development. This phase will also include the appropriate land clearing to accommodate the further development.  Excavation  Roads  Wells – This aspect of the development will identify the appropriate site(s) necessary for well drilling. Well drilling will also be completed in preparation for the installation of the delivery and filtration systems.  Water Systems – This portion of the development will complete the delivery and filtration of water to the planned development facilities and agriculture locations. The water system will include: access to pure water and the ability to store it and pump it through the development, installation of a safety water filtration systems to ensure clean safe drinking water, installation of plumbing lines throughout the site, installation of waste water systems throughout the site.  Solar Power Plant (or other appropriate power generation systems) - This phase will also include the finalized design and build for the community power system and any supplemental cabin power system kits.  Communication Systems (to include phone/internet/cell capabilities) – This system will facilitate the delivery of phone, internet and cell services throughout the community.  Facility Use Structures - In this phase the design and build of adequate workshop/classroom/common use facilities will be completed. Buildings will be erected to accommodate ongoing training and community activities and gatherings on-site. In addition to these structures, this phase of development will include the design and build for additional retreat and sleeping facilities. o Agriculture Systems  Farm equipment  Transportation  Lumber/Materials  Soil and Greenhouse Preparations - In this phase the design and build of gardening/growing spaces will be conducted. This will include the build of an adequately sized greenhouse and the appropriate land clearing to accommodate the planting spaces. This phase will also look at the intensive growing methods and Emergency Sustainable Agriculture plans for the region and the subsequent seed collection and storage.  Irrigation Systems  Storage facilities (garage and warehouse) o Housing Systems  Modular structure design and manufacturing – Work will be done using the work of designer Vinay Gupta with the goal of developing a modular room structure utilizing based on the Hexayurt building design. This structure should provide an ultra-cheap housing option that can be modularly assembled and used for building larger living and facility structures. The resulting design should provide a) a complete permanent or semi-permanent modular room; b) a modular room with regionally appropriate insulation/heat transfer barrier; c) a modular room that can be adjoined to additional structures to create larger living accommodation units; d) a modular room that can rapidly tie into the existing utility systems (water/sewer/power); e) a modular room that is rapidly deployable. • Social Development o Spiritual Wellness Center - This system will address the spiritual wellbeing of the residents and also provide services to those outside of the community. o Community Association – This developed system will be the development of the Mi-Com covenants and ordinances that will govern the residential association. This is designed to be a voluntary community governance system. o Social Service Agency – This developed system will be responsible for the social service needs of the community residents and will include solutions for healthcare, childcare and education. • Commerce Development o Commerce development center – This system will provide guidance and support for community based commerce. This will include commerce opportunities that involve the community and/or the residents of the community. Expected Outcomes:

The expected outcomes of this development project include: • The completion of an off-grid integrated community o Including the completion of an onsite off-grid power plant, water and agriculture systems • The development of 200 land lots that can support full-time occupancy • The completion of an on-site Learning Center and a completed strategic plan • The completion of an on-site Spiritual Wellness Center and a completed strategic plan • The completion of an on-site Commerce Development Center and a completed strategic plan • The completion of the on-site Agriculture Center • The completion of model housing structures • The development of a Convertible Community Development guide • A strategic plan for the Community Association detailing ongoing community (residential) development • A strategic plan for the Social Service Agency • Convertible Community infrastructure design plan and documentation • Rapidly deployable kit cabin including power kit option - design and model • Cabin interior design model • Emergency Sustainable Agriculture (ESA) Plan for central GA region • ESA Plan model for other weather regions and supporting software development • Urban/Suburban modification plan for Convertible Communities • Social Service/Homeless/Crisis Modification plans for Convertible Communities

Expected Completion: 18 months for the infrastructure and agricultural development and 18-36 months for the social systems. Budget: See Appendix B


Appendix A - Convertible Community The coined phrase "convertible community" came about during the development of the MiCom at World Help Training Center. The concept of convertible is about efficient design of land space to allow the greatest use of space and the most flexibility. In designing the land space that would house the World Help Training Center, the MiCom at WHTC and the Spiritual Wellness Center, it is important to provide the following functionality: • Space that maintains a rustic, rural setting similar to an agricultural village or rural farm - The land space is approximately 30 acres of rural agricultural land that has for decades been a reseeding pine tree forest. The land use is intended to be a residential community that supports an agricultural development of sustainability. The agriculture will include field crops, vegetables, fruit and nut orchards among other things. Maintaining the natural aesthetics of the land is desired. • Accommodate a year-round residential population - The community will be designed to accommodate the full-time farm workers, training center and Spiritual Wellness Center employees. Housing accommodations should be sustainable but sufficient to accommodate the variety of seasons. Every effort will be made to use renewable sustainable materials and practices. Residences will be designed so that modular expansion is a possibility should the need for expansion arise. • Accommodate seasonal increases in residential population - Design considerations will be included into the landscape plan to allow for the rapid increase in residents. There will be a combination of permanent structures that can double as artist workshops, training classrooms and living accommodations. In addition, green space that can be used in a park like manner and used for picnic or outdoor teaching/classes will be designed to also act as crisis space that could accommodate hexayurts, standard or military style tents or other relief style structures. The infrastructure to support this use will remain stationary year-round which will allow plumbing and electrical to be installed into semi-permanent structures (like a hexayurt) with the greatest ease. • Accommodate crisis management populations as the regional demands present - If additional accommodations are necessary beyond what the seasonal facilities allow, the landscape plan will have designated camping sites that will be located within the park design. This will allow open spaces to serve as a temporary/crisis shelter facility. On-site storage will maintain crisis level accommodations to include portable, semi-permanent dwelling structures like folding hexayurts which can be rapidly deployed in under an hour. • Accommodate social and training gatherings in the same space - The variety of spaces designed into the landscape plan include green space that also can double as event staging for a variety of training or social events. • Manage land to maintain the sustainability of the maximum capacity of community residents - The gardening plan will take into accommodations the year-round population and the potential crisis or seasonal populations. The garden designs will be to maximize crop yield and minimize required spacing. Gardening designs will be conveniently located in proximity to the residential districts and also offer a larger garden space for additional crops. Gardening space will be designed in for seasonal gardens and designate should the need for addition garden plots should the crisis residential populations increase. Until a specific need, those spaces will grow nutrient rich cover crops to reduce the necessary work other than simple tilling if the need to plant for production arises. • Convertible plumbing systems – Well and water distribution system installation will be done and plumbing lines from the water source will be run through the designed residential lots. Plumbing will be designed in such a way so that plumbing access can be hooked to the permanent and semi-permanent dwelling structures or lots with nominal tools rapidly. This will allow for running water to each living site, surrounding garden spaces and planned crisis spaces. Also the plumbing will include a gray water collection system to reduce the septic needs. As standard practice composting toilets will be used to reduce the septic system demands. Systems will be installed near all roof structured buildings to harvest rainwater for facility use. • Convertible workshops - permanent structures will be erected in the space designated for the Learning Center that can be used for artist workshops and training classrooms but that can also be used as residential dwellings. The designs should allow water and power to be integrated rapidly. • The agricultural fields will be designed efficiently t allow the maximum production. Design will also be such that the addition of basic husbandry could be implemented rapidly. Convertible Lots - Convertible lots are designed to meet several levels of personal need ranging from low usage to high usage. The rural lots are 1/10 acre or more (in increments of 1/10th acre). All lots will have access to well water and common use facilities which include bathroom/shower facilities, cooking facilities and laundry facilities. Lots are designed to allow individuals to engage in rural camping easily. Moderate usage applications will allow lot-holders to purchase, lease or build semi-permanent structure(s) which can be used to retreat in or for longer periods of use as crisis housing. The lots are designed to be able to quickly connect with the water system and allow a 2-8 hour deployment time in the event of emergency. Lot-holders can opt to purchase a complete housing kit that would include a dwelling structure (insulated or not), power and sewer systems, emergency agriculture systems and storage of such systems. A high use application for the land lot-holders is full time residency as an on-site farmer. The lot is designed to provide space to maintain self-sufficiency levels of agriculture and small husbandry to sustain a small family. The following systems are critical for Convertible Communities to function properly and will be modified based on the location, regional threats, climate and development size. They include the following: • Agriculture • Water • Shelter • Power • Husbandry • Cooking • Heating and Cooling • Lighting • Sanitation • Communications • Security • Social Philosophy • Commerce

Appendix B - Budget